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Q&a With Daria Gordeeva-grinkova:

Stick replaces skates

LACROSSE: Daughter of famous figure skaters no longer competes and instead has taken to the field as a defender.

April 01, 2009|By Steve Virgen

A cross-country move to Newport Beach in 2007 turned out to be a life-changing experience for Daria Gordeeva-Grinkova.

Before, she seemed destined to become a figure skater, following in the footsteps of her renowned parents, Katia Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkova. But when Daria came from Connecticut to Newport Beach two weeks before her freshman year at Sage Hill School, she hung up the skates and took up lacrosse.

The life of a competitive ice skater is behind her. Daria's life has changed.

Of course, the 16-year-old is no stranger to change. When she was 3 her father died suddenly of a heart attack while practicing for a show in Lake Placid, N.Y. Nov. 20, 1995. He was 28. Life could never be the same after that.

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Still, Daria seemed in line to become a great ice skater, too. Her mother and father won Olympic gold medals for Russia in 1988 and 1994.

But Daria realized the sport wasn't for her, a brave choice considering ice skating was all around her. Her mother remarried in 2002 and Daria's stepfather is Ilia Kulik, an Olympic champion (1998) for Russia. Her younger sister, Liza, 7, is also heavy into the sport.

However, Daria is happy, at peace with lacrosse. She plays with the Lightning today against Newport Harbor. In the fall, she plays volleyball.

Right now it's all about lacrosse and school at Sage Hill. That's been a change for the better for Daria.

She took time out to talk to the Daily Pilot on Tuesday.

Question: How did you get into lacrosse?

Answer: In my freshman year I was really good friends with this one girl who played lacrosse and she convinced me to play, so I just did. I wasn't figure skating at the time.

Q: Why did you stop skating?

A: Because I moved and my coach stayed there. It's hard to find a good coach. I was already getting older and I was over it. I just decided I wanted to try something new. I always wanted to try volleyball. I tried volleyball during the fall and lacrosse during the spring. I did frosh-soph volleyball.

Q: Is lacrosse now your sport?

A: I don't know if it's my sport but I like to play it a lot. It's fun. Last year I was captain. I was one of the three captains and it was really fun. I just never expected myself to play lacrosse. It's such a random sport and I thought I would never play it. But I like it. I'm happy with it. I come to practice every day feeling good about it.

Q: Do you see yourself ever going back into figure skating?

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